Now that Zinedine Zidane is back at the helm at Real Madrid, Tottenham don’t really have to worry about Mauricio Pochettino’s constant flirting with the La Liga giants, as there’s little chance of him going there in the summer.

However, that hasn’t stopped the Argentine manager from saying plenty of nice things about the Spanish club in an interview with El Chiringuito TV, who asked him about the club’s struggles this season.

He said: “Over the past few years, Madrid have been the best team in the world, there’s no doubt about that. The summer’s circumstances maybe caused the concentration and focus to drop a bit. It’s a club with a competitive spirit and a soul that astonishes the world.”

Asked about his perhaps “missed” opportunity of swapping Tottenham for Spain’s capital, Pochettino didn’t seem that fussed, explaining that ‘football will take me where football wants to take me’.

One of the big stories of the summer for Spurs, other than their potential Champions League win, will be Christian Eriksen’s future.

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The Denmark has also been linked with Real Madrid, but Pochettino is hoping that move doesn’t happen.

He explained: “We hope he renews. That’s Tottenham’s wish. He’s an important player for us, but he’s still got a year on his contract and we’ll see what happens.”

As for Gareth Bale, who has been linked with a return to London over the past couple of months as his situation in Madrid becomes more and more toxic, Pochettino was rather coy about a move for the Welshman, even if he couldn’t hide his admiration for the forward’s talent.

He said: “He’s a Real Madrid player (laughs), but we have a good relationship. We played against him last year. I have good references about him.

“Everyone has a fond memory of him here, just like they do at Southampton. He still has three years on his contract at Madrid. It’s a situation that isn’t easy for him and isn’t easy for the club.”